I’ve had dentures for a bit over twenty years. It’s gotten to the point where they won’t stay in even with adhesives. I’ve recently found out I should have gotten dental implants when my teeth were still removed, but that was never even mentioned to me. Is there a way to get them now? If not, is there at least a way to keep them in?
What you are experiencing is known in dentistry as facial collapse. When your teeth were first removed your body recognized that. As a result, it thought, “Hey, you don’t have teeth there so you don’t need these minerals for the bones. They’re for teeth roots. We are going to use those elsewhere so we can use your body’s resources well.”
While remarkably efficient, it does leave those who wear dentures in a bit of a pickle. You need the ridge of that lower jawbone in order to keep your dentures in. In as little as ten years without teeth, some patients can’t wear their dentures at all. Not only is that detrimental to your health, but it also ages your appearance by at least a decade.
The Solution to Facial Collapse
The first thing you need to do is have that bone built back up. Without that, you will eventually not be able to eat. This is important. The way to build your bone back up, is a procedure known as bone grafting.
A qualified dentist or oral surgeon can graft either natural or synthetic bone into your jaw. Once that is done you have two choices. The first is you can get dentures refit. This is fine, but you will face the same cycle of bone loss. A second option is to get dental implants.
Implant Overdentures: The Solution to Facial Collapse
Dental implants place prosthetic tooth roots into your jawbone. Then, after a period of healing, your dentist can place dental crowns on top of the root form. This mimics your natural teeth and preserves your jawbone.
It would be financially unfeasible to get a dental implant for each missing tooth, for all but the wealthiest of individuals. Instead, I suggest you get implant overdentures. These use between four to six dental implants and then anchor a denture to them. It completely secures your dentures, dramatically improves your chewing capacity, and prevents facial collapse.
Ideally, you want a dentist who can do the surgery and the crowns or dentures. This eliminates the risk of miscommunication in a complicated, advanced procedure.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Sugarland Dentist Dr. S. Thomas.